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Stay up to date with the happenings of Pathways Community Church by visiting our blog. You'll find information such as announcements, sermon notes and thoughts from our pastor to encourage and challenge your walk with the Lord.

Day 14 of our 4 week prayer adventure

by: Steve Fawcett

04/09/2020

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14. Welcome to day 14 of our 4 week prayer adventure.

The stories from this Passion week are very passionate, strongly emotional stories; no less is the story of Peter’s denial of Jesus. Matt. 26:69-75. Verse 74 says: “Then he (Peter) began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, ‘I do not know the Man.’ And immediately the rooster crowed.” Let me mention 3 practical lessons from this story.

1. It teaches us the best of saints are still human. Peter’s sin was great. He had even been warned ahead of time yet he still denied Jesus 3 times.… read more

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14. Welcome to day 14 of our 4 week prayer adventure.

The stories from this Passion week are very passionate, strongly emotional stories; no less is the story of Peter’s denial of Jesus. Matt. 26:69-75. Verse 74 says: “Then he (Peter) began to invoke a curse on himself and to swear, ‘I do not know the Man.’ And immediately the rooster crowed.” Let me mention 3 practical lessons from this story.

1. It teaches us the best of saints are still human. Peter’s sin was great. He had even been warned ahead of time yet he still denied Jesus 3 times. He seemed to be under no threat of violence yet it was enough to overthrow his faith.

2. Notice the steps that led to his downfall. The first step was being overly self-confident. Earlier he had said that even if everyone else denies Jesus, he never would. The second step was laziness. Jesus had told him to watch and pray, instead, what did he do? He slept. The third step was acting cowardly. At first he was close to His Master, then he ran away from Him, then he followed but at some distance. A fourth step was compromising. He put himself squarely in the company of godless men and women as though he were one of them, when he sat down with the guards. He was unwilling to identify with Jesus. The last step was his cursing and swearing and actually denying Jesus, not just once, but 3 times. Please note that people don’t usually fall into some great sin or trouble all of a sudden, it is usually the result of some secret backsliding in their heart. ‘People fall in private long before they fall in public.’

3. Note the emotional effect it had on Peter. He went out and wept bitterly. Notice the close connection between unhappiness and departing from God. When a person walks away from God, it leads to an uneasy conscience, a lack of peace and many inner doubts in their quiet moments. But his weeping also shows his sorrow, which led to his repentance. Many follow Peter in denying Jesus, but far fewer follow Peter in his repentance.

When we or a fellow believer falls, let us remember the Savior of Peter still lives. There is mercy available for us, but we must repent and seek that mercy and when we do we joyfully discover that God’s compassions never fail!

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Day 13 of our 4 week prayer adventure

by: Steve Fawcett

04/08/2020

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13. Welcome to day 13 of our 4 week prayer adventure.

In Matthew 26:36-46, we read of Jesus’ agony in the garden of Gethsemane. Verse 39 says: “And going a little further He fell on His face and prayed, saying, ‘My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.’” This amazing passage contains many deep and mysterious things. Some people think they have it all figured out but they just end up ‘darkening counsel with words without knowledge.’

So, while there is so much here, let me just briefly mention… read more

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13. Welcome to day 13 of our 4 week prayer adventure.

In Matthew 26:36-46, we read of Jesus’ agony in the garden of Gethsemane. Verse 39 says: “And going a little further He fell on His face and prayed, saying, ‘My Father, if it be possible, let this cup pass from me; nevertheless, not as I will, but as You will.’” This amazing passage contains many deep and mysterious things. Some people think they have it all figured out but they just end up ‘darkening counsel with words without knowledge.’

So, while there is so much here, let me just briefly mention three items of practical importance.

1. Prayer should always be our first remedy in times of trouble. Trouble comes to all of us, in a million different ways. How well we know that in these corona virus days. Notice what Jesus did in a time of extreme stress, He fell on His face, on the ground, and prayed. If He needed to do this, how much more do we? Let us go to our heavenly Father at the first sign of trouble and not as a last resort.

2. Surrendering to the will of God is a great mark of wisdom. Jesus gave us a great example as He prayed: ‘not as I will, but as You will.’ Then again in verse 42, ‘Your will be done.’ It is just as the great example He gave us in the Lord’s prayer as well; ‘may Your will be done on earth as it is in heaven.’ Pray that God will line up your will with His, so that you will want and desire the same things He does! We usually switch that around and want God’s will to line up with ours!

3. We must always be on guard in our spiritual lives. 26:41: “Watch and pray that you may not enter into temptation. The spirit indeed is willing, but the flesh is weak.” In a culture that loves to cater to the flesh, so many people, instead of watching out for things that will tempt them to do wrong, run right into it and see how far they can go before they get burned by it. Let each of us learn this lesson well, that if we desire a close walk with God and not fall like Peter did or like David did, let us never forget to watch and pray.

I hope each of you are having a great Easter week! We are looking forward to livestreaming our Easter service this Sunday!

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Day 12 of our 4 week prayer adventure

by: Steve Fawcett

04/07/2020

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12. Welcome to day 12 of our 4 week prayer adventure.

Matthew 26:14-25 We read here of how Judas Iscariot, one of the 12 apostles, went to the chief priests “and said, ‘what will you give me if I deliver Him over to you?’And they paid him 30 pieces of silver.” 26:14

This is an account of one of the most dastardly deeds that ever happened. One thing we learn is that a person may have tremendous religious experiences and even do miracles in Jesus’ name and yet have a heart that is not right with God. Judas got to see Jesus… read more

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12. Welcome to day 12 of our 4 week prayer adventure.

Matthew 26:14-25 We read here of how Judas Iscariot, one of the 12 apostles, went to the chief priests “and said, ‘what will you give me if I deliver Him over to you?’And they paid him 30 pieces of silver.” 26:14

This is an account of one of the most dastardly deeds that ever happened. One thing we learn is that a person may have tremendous religious experiences and even do miracles in Jesus’ name and yet have a heart that is not right with God. Judas got to see Jesus do many miracles. He heard Jesus, the best of teachers, teach for 3 years. He went out and preached and did miracles. His outward conduct was good so that when Jesus said one of them would betray Him, no one said ‘is it Judas?’ No one suspected him. Please be sure that you have sincerely given your heart to Christ and trusted in Him by faith.

A second thing we can see here is the incredible pull that money has. Notice Judas’ question to the chief priests, ‘what will you give me?’ Paul said the love of money is a root of all kinds of evil. 1 Tim. 6:10. Notice, it’s not money but the love of money that causes so much mischief and heartaches. And remember, that it is possible not to have any money yet love it and it’s possible to have lots of money and not be in love with it. ‘What will it profit a man if he gains the whole world but loses his soul?’ Mark 8:36

A third item I could mention about this is the sad but real truth of the hopeless condition of those who die without faith in Christ. Jesus said of Judas in 26:24 that it would have been better for Judas to never have been born. This verse clearly reveals that it would be better to never have lived than to have lived and rejected Christ. To die in that condition is to be ruined forevermore; it is a fall from which there is no rising. Once a person dies, his position is settled forever. May we let these solemn truths sink deep into our hearts. They were spoken by someone no less than Jesus Himself, the one person who would know about these things.

I trust that this Easter week finds you rejoicing in your good hope and may the example of Judas be like a beacon to all, to avoid His example at all costs. Is your heart right with God?

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Day 11 of our 4 week prayer adventure

by: Steve Fawcett

04/06/2020

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11. Welcome to day 11 of our 4 week prayer adventure.

Here we are in this very significant week leading up to the greatest historical weekend in the history of mankind, the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. This week let’s take a brief look at several events of this passion week.

“A woman came up to Him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on His head as He reclined at table.”Matt. 26:7

In this little incident we see Jesus talking about His upcoming crucifixion. We can never put too much emphasis on what Jesus did for us… read more

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11. Welcome to day 11 of our 4 week prayer adventure.

Here we are in this very significant week leading up to the greatest historical weekend in the history of mankind, the crucifixion and resurrection of Jesus. This week let’s take a brief look at several events of this passion week.

“A woman came up to Him with an alabaster flask of very expensive ointment, and she poured it on His head as He reclined at table.”Matt. 26:7

In this little incident we see Jesus talking about His upcoming crucifixion. We can never put too much emphasis on what Jesus did for us there on the cross. Without that, Christianity would be like a beautiful building but with no foundation. It is here where we see the seed of the woman crushing the serpent’s head. It is here that all the Old Testament sacrifices pointed. It is here that we see the Lamb of God was slain for the sins of the world. May we always be glad to say along with Paul: ‘May I never boast except in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ.’ Gal. 6:14

Also, in this incident, we see how Christ honors those who honor Him. When out of love she poured this ointment on the head of Jesus, others just saw it as a waste. They did not honor her. But Jesus did. He even made an interesting prophecy that wherever the gospel is preached anywhere in the world, what she has done will be told in memory of her sacrificial and loving deed. The deeds of many kings are long forgotten, the mighty exploits of many warriors are long forgotten, but her little deed is spoken of in hundreds of languages all around the world to this day! Human praise may last a short time, but the praise of Christ lasts forever. If you want lasting honor, then honor Christ.

One last item here. We see here a foretaste of things that will happen in the day of judgment. On that day, no honor given to Christ will be forgotten. Mankind’s great speeches will lie in the dust, but even a cup of water given to one of the least of Christ’s followers will not lose its reward. Are we working for Christ? This little incident gives us great encouragement to keep on and not give up. Others may say our sacrifices for Christ are a waste, a waste of money, a waste of time, a waste of a life. Don’t let any of that move you. Stand firm. Honor Christ.

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Day 10 of our 4 week prayer adventure

by: Steve Fawcett

04/03/2020

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10. Welcome to day 10 of our 4 week prayer adventure.

“And He awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Peace!Be still!’ And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, ‘Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?’ And they were filled with fear and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?’” Mark 4:39-41

Here in this great story, we read of how a storm broke out at sea and while the disciples were panic-stricken and thought they were going to… read more

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10. Welcome to day 10 of our 4 week prayer adventure.

“And He awoke and rebuked the wind and said to the sea, ‘Peace!Be still!’ And the wind ceased, and there was a great calm. He said to them, ‘Why are you so afraid? Have you still no faith?’ And they were filled with fear and said to one another, ‘Who then is this, that even the wind and the sea obey Him?’” Mark 4:39-41

Here in this great story, we read of how a storm broke out at sea and while the disciples were panic-stricken and thought they were going to die, Jesus was sound asleep. But when they get Him up, He calmly and quickly solves the problem and points out their problem, which wasn’t primarily the storm, but their own lack of faith in Him. This is a great story for our times. While many sermons could be given on this small passage, permit me to mention one thing.

The disciples had been watching Jesus heal all kinds of diseases and illnesses; there was no illness or problem that got presented to Him that He wasn’t able to handle. Nothing stumped Him. Then, after this incident, the disciples were astounded at His total control even over all of nature; the winds, the waves, the storms! He is not only Lord of all nations, of all peoples, but even over all of creation; which includes storms, diseases, bacteria and yes, even viruses. Jesus is Lord of the coronavirus.

As we watch the news and hear the hard and sad news of people dying, it all appears so random to us. But as we think biblically, as we learn from this story, from God’s perspective there is nothing random about this virus at all. It goes exactly where He wants it to go, it strikes exactly where He wants it to strike. Again, it is not random; it only appears that way to us.

The Bible speaks about how even before we were born God appointed the number of days for each of us. Now this is not a guarantee of a long life, it is a guarantee that you will not live one day less or one day longer than what God had planned for you. He may choose to use the coronavirus to bring you home, or He’s got a million other ways He can use as well.

Nor does this mean then that we can be reckless about our lives. Remember when Jesus was being tempted by the devil and the devil took Him up to the top of the temple and told Jesus, throw yourself down, the angels will catch you. Did Jesus jump off? No. He responded with the Word of God by saying that we should not test the Lord our God. Same with this virus. Wisdom would dictate that we do all in our power to do what we can to protect ourselves and others, (unless you have a very clear call like some missionaries have had, to go ahead and go into what would normally be a very dangerous situation, but those would be the exceptions, not the rule.) So, let’s not test God and live unwisely. A Christian is to live by faith, by grace and common sense.

So, we don’t know what may happen to us tomorrow, but we know who holds tomorrow, as the song goes. And He has plans for us, to give us a future and a hope!

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Day 9 of our 4 week prayer adventure

by: Steve Fawcett

04/02/2020

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9. Welcome to day 9 of our 4 week prayer adventure.

“Thus says the Lord: ‘Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.’”Jeremiah 6:16

I love this verse! Notice it says: stand, look, (observe), and ask (inquire, pray about,) about that good way whereby all the godly people down through the ages have walked in, which is by a simple faith and trust in God, and if you actually do this, you will find rest, peace, for your souls. By the way, we… read more

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9. Welcome to day 9 of our 4 week prayer adventure.

“Thus says the Lord: ‘Stand by the roads, and look, and ask for the ancient paths, where the good way is; and walk in it, and find rest for your souls.’”Jeremiah 6:16

I love this verse! Notice it says: stand, look, (observe), and ask (inquire, pray about,) about that good way whereby all the godly people down through the ages have walked in, which is by a simple faith and trust in God, and if you actually do this, you will find rest, peace, for your souls. By the way, we have a soul. We are not animals. What a terrible thing to say to someone that they are just a more evolved animal; when the truth is we are made in the image of God, a real wonder, a real work of God’s grace and craftsmanship. In a world clamoring for peace these days, be reminded that we do have a soul and we can be at rest when we find our rest in God.

But we are in a unique moment in the history of our world as a modern society. Not only has this latest virus affected us powerfully physically, but also psychologically and socially in a way we’ve never known before. All sports have been shut down. All restaurants are closed to eat-in diners, entertainment venues closed, travel almost non-existent, it’s like the world has been put on pause.

Soren Kierkegaard once said: “If God spoke into the world, would anyone hear Him?” And he said: “No, they wouldn’t because there is too much noise.” The martyred missionary, Jim Elliot, one of my heroes, said that the devil likes to specialize in ‘noise, hurry and crowds.’ That if he can keep us so busy and in a hurry, always having to listen to something or always having to be in a crowd, then he can keep us from listening to God.

And notice what has happened. It’s like the whole world is being forced to hit the pause button. Those who know the Lord and are yet still anxious and those who don’t know the Lord are wondering: ‘Maybe my way of interpreting the world and what I’ve been trusting in is not working anymore,’ that this is a time that God is speaking.

In what ways is God getting your attention? In what things have you been trusting in? Even Christians are prone to inadvertently put other things in their lives in the place only God should have.

Have you been seeing your health as some kind of birthright or more as a gift; that we can be thankful for?

God loves us too much to leave us to our own devices. He is calling us to listen to Him, especially as He speaks through His Word. He is the ultimate promise-keeper, we can trust Him.

Not everyone in our church receives these email devotionals; some do not have internet access. I have been trying to call on the phone a number of them but I would like to encourage you to do the same. If you think of someone shut-in, perhaps give them a quick call just to see how they are doing; it will encourage them.

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Day 8 of our 4 week prayer adventure

by: Steve Fawcett

04/01/2020

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8.Welcome to day 8 of our 4 week prayer adventure.

Receive hope by recalling God’s insight.Why should any living mortal, or any man, offer complaint in view of his sins? Let us examine and probe our ways, and let us return to the Lord.” Lamentations 3:39,40

Here we see God giving Jeremiah insight into the situation from God’s perspective. If God actually dealt with us according to our sins, we would have been consumed long ago. Over and over, God had told His people that He would send the Babylonians if they didn’t repent, if they don’t turn back to Him… read more

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8.Welcome to day 8 of our 4 week prayer adventure.

Receive hope by recalling God’s insight.Why should any living mortal, or any man, offer complaint in view of his sins? Let us examine and probe our ways, and let us return to the Lord.” Lamentations 3:39,40

Here we see God giving Jeremiah insight into the situation from God’s perspective. If God actually dealt with us according to our sins, we would have been consumed long ago. Over and over, God had told His people that He would send the Babylonians if they didn’t repent, if they don’t turn back to Him and start living right. God gave them plenty of warnings. How did they respond? ‘Ah, Jeremiah, you’re no fun, you ruin our parties with your negative message. You’re a party pooper, Jeremiah. Why don’t you entertain us, tell us a few jokes, be positive, then you can stay, but if you keep up with all this God is going to get us unless we repent stuff, then you can get lost, because we’re not changing our ways. God is going to have to change, not us.’ And how did that work out for them? And yet we have lots of people saying that today.

When God disciplines us today, it’s for our good, as Paul writes that tribulations bring perseverance, then proven character, then hope! Also, please remember that God doesn’t punish believers. All our punishment was laid on Christ on the cross. But now, God will discipline His children, as any loving father does, and it will always be ultimately, for His glory and our good. So, when things happen to me and I start complaining, God reminds me of this verse, 3:39.

We have all sinned. No one can say to God: ‘not fair, not fair.’ God hasn’t punished an innocent person yet. He has never been unfair a single time. But let me add, when we are disciplined, it’s not always because we have sinned. Jesus answers that very clearly in John 9:3. But when we are under affliction of some sort, it is reasonable to consider our ways, to ask what the Lord is trying to teach us. That would be a wise response, a humble response, a Christian response. Then, if necessary, to repent and return to God and His ways.

So, when we go through tough times, no matter what we might have lost, a job, a loved one, health, a financial setback, moral purity or our integrity; one message here is that we have not been abandoned. The Lord is with us. He is still willing to faithfully and mercifully meet our needs. He is way more patient than we would ever be. Be it done to you according to your faith.

Trust God, He is your hope and help. He can give you hope no matter what kind of tough times you may be experiencing.

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Day 7 of our 4 week prayer adventure

by: Steve Fawcett

03/31/2020

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7. Welcome to day 7 of our 4 week prayer adventure!

Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear.” John 18:10 It was a very tense time, a crisis, as Jesus was being betrayed by Judas, in the dark of the night. In this crisis, notice how Peter responded. He drew his sword and injured a man. One could argue he was being courageous yet, as we learn from Jesus’ response that it was entirely inappropriate. After this Peter and the disciples ran for their lives and then… read more

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7. Welcome to day 7 of our 4 week prayer adventure!

Then Simon Peter, having a sword, drew it and struck the high priest’s servant and cut off his right ear.” John 18:10 It was a very tense time, a crisis, as Jesus was being betrayed by Judas, in the dark of the night. In this crisis, notice how Peter responded. He drew his sword and injured a man. One could argue he was being courageous yet, as we learn from Jesus’ response that it was entirely inappropriate. After this Peter and the disciples ran for their lives and then later, Peter even denies knowing Jesus three times. In this very stressful situation, Peter responded poorly a number of times.

One thing a crisis does is that it reveals a person’s true character. I have seen lately, normally happy people become snippy and blunt, others having almost a nervous breakdown and others become quite angry and impatient. A crisis will reveal what you truly believe about God, your life and yourself. It reveals who you are.

Thus, a good question for each of us would be: what do you see in yourself? Do you like what you see? Are there some changes you might need to make? Self-leadership is very important right now.

Also, in these times of change, you see what people think of change. Some are nimble, flexible, they embrace change; these are usually younger folks but not always. Others go to the other end and resist and dislike change. They don’t want anything to change, they would rather die than change; they just want to get back to normal as soon as possible.

After this coronavirus crisis, we will probably land somewhere in the middle of the above two positions. Changes are coming. I admit I was resisting this at first, I didn’t want things to change; but the Lord is showing me to trust Him. As I said yesterday, the Lord probably doesn’t want us to go back to normal. Our culture’s ‘normal’ was on a downhill moral slide and something had to happen to try to get people’s attention. And this applies to God’s church as well.

Peter eventually ends up responding very well, as Jesus had prayed earlier that he would. He became humble, sorry for his bad behavior, was teachable and willing to change. The Lord was very patient with him and then restored him to fellowship with God and his brothers and restored him to his position. I am glad the Lord is also very patient with us. In these tough days, as many people are responding in weird ways, let us be patient with others too.

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Day 6 of our 4 week prayer adventure

by: Steve Fawcett

03/30/2020

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6. Welcome to day 6 of our 4 week prayer adventure.

Receive hope by recalling God’s sovereignty. “Who has spoken and it came to pass, unless the Lord has commanded it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and bad come?” Lamentations 3:37,38

The Lord is still in control. In all this heartache and confusion, we need to remember this. It allows us to ask what is God trying to teach me through this? (Feel free to let me know what God is teaching you through all this!)

It allows us to be more patient. He has not… read more

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6. Welcome to day 6 of our 4 week prayer adventure.

Receive hope by recalling God’s sovereignty. “Who has spoken and it came to pass, unless the Lord has commanded it? Is it not from the mouth of the Most High that good and bad come?” Lamentations 3:37,38

The Lord is still in control. In all this heartache and confusion, we need to remember this. It allows us to ask what is God trying to teach me through this? (Feel free to let me know what God is teaching you through all this!)

It allows us to be more patient. He has not given up the throne. The devil is still God’s devil. What God has planned will happen. God is the One who allows prosperity and adversity to occur. He often uses other things to accomplish it, just like He used the Babylonians to punish Jerusalem, the Babylonians did it and they will be held accountable because they did it willingly, joyfully, but ultimately, they were just an instrument in God’s hands.

The Lord is in control. vs. 32- ‘but though He cause grief’. Notice, who caused the grief? Job knew this and it helped him handle his great loss. It also helped him when even his own wife broke down and told him to curse God and die, yet he wisely and rightly said: ‘Shall we receive good from God and shall we not receive evil?’ He also said ‘The Lord gave and the Lord has taken away, blessed be the name of the Lord.’! What a great faith he had! God in His infinite power and wisdom is able to use both prosperity and adversity for our ultimate good.

How should we consider this coronavirus pandemic? Many today still have a ‘blizzard’ outlook. Like a blizzard, we hunker down, wait it out and very soon everything will return to normal. This was where I was at, but no more. Others have a ‘winter’ outlook. Like winter, its longer lasting, may have a few blizzards in it, where we stay inside, but in the not too distant future, spring will come and life will return to normal once again. Others have a ‘mini-ice age’ outlook, where they see this as something that is going to be around for awhile, in various waves and stages, maybe for up to 18 months or more, thus causing certain changes in our routines for some time.

Certainly, medical interventions can change all this fairly quickly, that’s what I’m hoping for. But for awhile, I was thinking let’s just wait this out and really quickly things will be back to normal. Now, I’m not so sure. I’m not so sure the Lord wants His church and our society to return to normal. Our society’s normal seemed to be going downhill fast.

Yet, in the midst of this very serious time, as we see the bodies pile up on the news, we can have peace. God’s people can have peace as Phil. 4:11 says: “I have learned in whatever situation I am to be content.” Yes, even in a coronavirus situation too.

Also, we tried to get something online in terms of a service or message for last Sunday, but due to an amazing set of weird circumstances, it just didn’t work out. So, we are working hard for this Sunday, (Palm Sunday!) to livestream from church a service which you will be able to access through this website. Pray for all the technical details and equipment that are needed for this to occur. And keep praying that God will protect our people from this silent killer stalking our land. Thanks.

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Day 5 of our 4 week prayer adventure

by: Steve Fawcett

03/27/2020

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5. Welcome to day 5 of our 4 week prayer adventure.

Yesterday we saw three things about God’s character that can give us hope. Another way that Jeremiah, and us too, can receive hope is by recalling how God works in these situations and some appropriate things for us to do.

The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him.It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”Lamentations 3:25-36

1. Wait patiently and pray while you are waiting. 3:25 This is active waiting, not just passive waiting. We don’t like… read more

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5. Welcome to day 5 of our 4 week prayer adventure.

Yesterday we saw three things about God’s character that can give us hope. Another way that Jeremiah, and us too, can receive hope is by recalling how God works in these situations and some appropriate things for us to do.

The Lord is good to those who wait for Him, to the soul who seeks Him.It is good that one should wait quietly for the salvation of the Lord.”Lamentations 3:25-36

1. Wait patiently and pray while you are waiting. 3:25 This is active waiting, not just passive waiting. We don’t like to just sit and wait. One year, right before New Year’s Day, I was getting sick. I could tell I had a sinus infection so I tried to get into the doctor’s office; this was on a Friday, right before the New Year’s long weekend. Apparently all of Minneapolis was seeing the doctor that day because they said there was not one opening with any doctor or nurse practitioner anywhere in the Twin Cities for that day. So, my option then was to go to Urgent Care and wait. When I got there they said the wait would be about 2 hours. So I was waiting, everyone around me was coughing, had masks on, it was the last place I wanted to be. After 3 ½ hours I was seen by a doctor for about one minute, given a prescription for my sinus infection and I quickly left. Fortunately, I had brought things to do while waiting because Deb had warned me, be prepared to wait a long time. We don’t like to wait. But even if there is nothing else you can do, you can pray. Jeremiah said the Lord is good to those who seek Him. We can learn to wait patiently and for one thing, pray while we wait.

2. Wait quietly. 3:26-28 Rather than moan and complain as we tend to do, seek the Lord and see what it is He might be trying to teach you. While we are waiting, don’t quarrel with God, rather trust Him quietly.

Lose any accusing tongue and a pointing finger, that does no good. Seek to silence all distrustful thoughts knowing that to those who love Him, He has everything exactly timed for good.

3. Submit voluntarily.3:29 When it says ‘mouth in dust’, it’s implying a complete surrender to the Lord. Why is this? Because of 3:31-33. When God disciplines His children, and what father does not discipline his kids, it’s not that His love has been suspended. It is really an expression of His concern. He loves us too much to leave us the way we are.

His discipline is never spontaneous or arbitrary as ours might be. His ways are always justified. His ways are always fair, while remember, our enemy never fights fair. God’s discipline is prompted by love and it’s temporary. It is but an intermission, a commercial, an interlude before again His mercy is experienced by those who seek Him.

May each of us keep on doing what God says to do here and that is to seek Him. And one doesn’t need to be in a church service to do that. Maybe that is one of the many things the Lord is teaching His people, that while there is no substitute for church and being with people, yet while we can’t, we can joyfully seek Him, worship and honor Him 7 days a week!

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Day 4 of our 4 week prayer adventure

by: Steve Fawcett

03/26/2020

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4. Welcome to day 4 of our 4 week prayer adventure!

In tough times it is so easy to dwell too long upon ourselves; it is natural to grieve and be sorrowful and for a time, to focus on ourselves and what is happening to us, but if our eyes stay on ourselves, soon we’ll lose our perspective and soon anger, impatience or bitterness will creep in. In the last devotional I brought up the little book of Lamentations. Let’s take a closer look at part of it.

This book is made up of 5 chapters. Chapters 1,2, and 4 are an… read more

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4. Welcome to day 4 of our 4 week prayer adventure!

In tough times it is so easy to dwell too long upon ourselves; it is natural to grieve and be sorrowful and for a time, to focus on ourselves and what is happening to us, but if our eyes stay on ourselves, soon we’ll lose our perspective and soon anger, impatience or bitterness will creep in. In the last devotional I brought up the little book of Lamentations. Let’s take a closer look at part of it.

This book is made up of 5 chapters. Chapters 1,2, and 4 are an acrostic- 22 verses with each verse starting with the succeeding letter of the Hebrew alphabet, all 22 letters. Then, ch. 3 is 66 verses, with 3 verses each to each alphabet letter. Then ch. 5 is also 22 verses, but it doesn’t follow their alphabet. So, you can see that a lot of thought went into the writing of this book.

It is widely believed that the prophet Jeremiah wrote this letter. He is weeping over the suffering and humiliation of his people. This is when God used Babylonia to come in and wipe out Judah and Jerusalem. God had warned them many times this would happen if they didn’t get their act together and come back to the Lord; well, they never did, so it finally happened. Jeremiah is one of the few survivors left to wander amongst the ruins and dead bodies.

So, this little book contains a river of tears, a sea of sobs, a lake of laments. Jeremiah has been pushed to the brink of despair. He has no strength, no hope, nothing left to live for, and then, all of a sudden, clear out of the blue, like a sudden life boat to a dying man:Hope! in 3:21. Hope, the one thing we can’t live without. Let me mention 3 things about God’s character as seen here that gives us hope. It did for Jeremiah, it can for us too.

1. God’s love never ends.“The steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; His compassion never comes to an end; they are new every morning; great is Your faithfulness.”Lam. 3:22,23

As Paul would later write: we may be afflicted in every way but not crushed, struck down but not forsaken. As bad as things may be, it is still owing to the Lord’s mercies that things are not worse! If God had dealt with us according to our sins, we would have been goners long ago. We may be cast down, but not cast off. Kind of like the Vikings sometimes. Often way behind, but we love it when there is, incredibly, a big turnaround at the last second. We need to remind ourselves that life, like football, is not over until it’s over. So, don’t act like it’s over, with the Lord there is hope. Why? Because God’s love never ends. Life may be different, but it’s not over until it’s over.

2. God’s compassion never fails. It is new every morning. Don’t you just love that? Each new day you have is like a sign that God isn’t through with you yet. It’s not over yet. The last word in this script of life has not yet been written. His compassion is new. You can’t rely on old stuff, on old grace, just like they couldn’t hang onto the day old manna, so too we need fresh new grace each day. Have you spent time with the Lord and received from Him a fresh new experience of strength for today? Yesterday’s was for yesterday. Have you listened to God today?

3. God’s faithfulness is great! It never diminishes. We may be doubting or faithless but God is always faithful. So, recalling all this to mind, Jeremiah cries out in vs. 24: “The Lord is my portion, therefore I will hope in Him.” The Lord is all we really need. He is sufficient to take care of us. With Him we have enough and He more than counterbalances all our troubles. Imagine a big scale and on one side you load up all your problems and cares, it may be a heavy load, then on the other side of the scale you put the Lord and the other side then pops up like its light as a feather. The Lord is enough because He is faithful.

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Day 3 of our 4 week prayer adventure

by: Steve Fawcett

03/25/2020

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Biblical hope remembers. As we think about what does biblical hope look like, another aspect of it is that hope remembers. “He has made my teeth grind on gravel, … I have forgotten what happiness is; so I say, “My endurance has perished; so has my hope from the Lord.”Lam. 3:16-18.

Jeremiah was in a tough spot. But then he says in verse 21: “But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope; the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; they never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.The Lord is my… read more

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Biblical hope remembers. As we think about what does biblical hope look like, another aspect of it is that hope remembers. “He has made my teeth grind on gravel, … I have forgotten what happiness is; so I say, “My endurance has perished; so has my hope from the Lord.”Lam. 3:16-18.

Jeremiah was in a tough spot. But then he says in verse 21: “But this I call to mind, and therefore I have hope; the steadfast love of the Lord never ceases; they never come to an end; they are new every morning; great is your faithfulness.The Lord is my portion, says my soul, therefore I will hope in Him.” Lamentations 3:21-24.

Notice the firm and confident act of his will when he said: ‘I will hope in Him.’ That is a good decision to make. When your hope is in God, your confident hope in the future is based on God’s faithfulness in the past. This is why hope remembers. This is why your history and testimony are so important.

This is what kept Jeremiah going. Out of an incredible catastrophe, where his loved ones were being killed and captured, the economy was being destroyed, all his possessions were being taken away, the temple destroyed, the government abolished; in the midst of this near total annihilation, Jeremiah remembers God. That is how he overcame despair. That’s how he could keep going. He remembered what God had done in the past. He did not deny or downplay his current tragedy, he was not living in denial; he faced it but he also remembered God.

We have that opportunity as well. Remember what Jesus said when He instituted the Lord’s Supper? “Do this in remembrance of Me.” We remember and we have hope.

I saw two days ago some pictures of how people around the world worshipped last Sunday as they were stuck inside. Quite a number of them had their own worship service right in their home! One kid might read a story, another pray, they could act out some bible story or dad or mom could explain it. I thought that was fantastic! Families were designed to be like little churches!

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Day 2 of our 4 week prayer adventure

by: Steve Fawcett

03/25/2020

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2. Biblical hope puts an unstoppable spring in our steps! “Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”Rom. 5:2 The victory is already ours. Thus, we can rejoice, we can even rejoice exceedingly! So where is all the celebrating?! It is the greatest triumph ever when Jesus defeated death and now offers eternal life. Look at how Paul tells it in 1 Cor. 15:54-57; three times he mentions our victory. It is the victory that is greater than any other triumph. So… read more

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2. Biblical hope puts an unstoppable spring in our steps! “Through Him we have also obtained access by faith into this grace in which we stand, and we rejoice in hope of the glory of God.”Rom. 5:2 The victory is already ours. Thus, we can rejoice, we can even rejoice exceedingly! So where is all the celebrating?! It is the greatest triumph ever when Jesus defeated death and now offers eternal life. Look at how Paul tells it in 1 Cor. 15:54-57; three times he mentions our victory. It is the victory that is greater than any other triumph. So again, why aren’t the believers celebrating?

Hope makes you a happy winner. It really can put a spring into your step. Got a bad boss? Will that be a big deal 100 years from now? Struggling with sorrows? It says God will one day wipe away every tear. Got a financial crisis? Hey, you’ll spend eternity walking on streets of gold! Is your body dying? You’ll get to trade in that worn out thing for a new imperishable one soon! All this brings hope! Hope encourages us to never quit.

It also enables us to rejoice exceedingly. I mentioned this earlier but I want to emphasize it again. The war is basically over. Everything is complete except a final mop-up operation and then the awards ceremony. Hope makes us undefeatable, because of Jesus, we have already won. We will share in His victory. His victory is our victory. We rejoice because of the anticipation of what’s coming!

Hope enables us to press on and serve God even in tough times. Paul goes on in Romans 5 and shares how when we rejoice even in our suffering that brings endurance which produces character and that produces hope. Hope enables us to keep going. So, keep on, keep praying. Remember with all the bad news the media likes to repeat over and over again, there is a lot of good news out there as well.

Chris recently sent me this that I thought would be good to pass on to everyone as well.

While in quarantine, Shakespeare wrote King Lear.While in quarantine, Isaac Newton developed calculus and discovered gravity.While under house arrest, Paul wrote part of the New Testament. While in prison, John Bunyan wrote ‘Pilgrim’s Progress.’ Consider what kingdom work you could do while staying home!”

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Day 1 of our 4 week prayer adventure

by: Steve Fawcett

03/25/2020

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Welcome to Pathways four weeks of prayer event! Thanks for being a part of this. We might not be able to meet together for a short time but one thing we can do which can actually do much good is to pray. During these days we want to pray that God will protect His people from serious illness, give wisdom to those who are looking for helpful treatments, give wisdom to our national leaders as they seek to lead and guide, to give protection to all the front line health care workers who are facing this pandemic openly, that the… read more

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Welcome to Pathways four weeks of prayer event! Thanks for being a part of this. We might not be able to meet together for a short time but one thing we can do which can actually do much good is to pray. During these days we want to pray that God will protect His people from serious illness, give wisdom to those who are looking for helpful treatments, give wisdom to our national leaders as they seek to lead and guide, to give protection to all the front line health care workers who are facing this pandemic openly, that the gospel will go forth and give hope to millions of new people, as well as that God will bless Pathways Church. These blessings may be in spiritual growth, numerical growth, financial growth, in power and love and fruitfulness or in some combination of these or many other types of blessings. Let’s pray and see what God will do as we pray in faith, knowing that the full outworking of His blessings may be well into the future.

Why four weeks? Well, there is nothing magical about that number, but we do know it takes close to that to establish a daily habit. And that is one of the goals. So, Lord willing, this daily devotional will come out five days a week for the next four weeks.

I hope that each of you will pray as you feel led. If you ask the Holy Spirit to guide you, He will! Jesus challenged His disciples by saying: “Could you not tarry one hour?” Perhaps you will feel led to pray an hour a day during this time. Also, that hour need not be all at one time, maybe 20 minutes a time, three times a day.

For the record, I think it’s less about your plan and more about your motivation. If you are desperate to know God more He will honor your plan.

Besides, what a much better way to spend one’s time than to constantly monitor the TV channels or internet feeds! Pray that this will all be done soon! So, keep the faith, stay calm, stay in touch, we’ll be back together soon! Yes, our daily routines are being upset; I believe that might likely turn out to be a good thing. We’ll be fine. ‘This truly is a day that the Lord has made, let us rejoice and be glad in it.’


1. Humans must have hope to live. People will cling to their hopes, even false hopes. T hey have to. We can’t live without hope of some kind. Hopelessness is not an option. Nothing would be attempted without hope. No businesses would be started without hope that it might succeed. No investments made, no schools attended, no relationships entered into, not even children would be planned without hope.

Hope gets us out of the bed in the morning. If one lost all hope, they would be paralyzed. Our newspapers are filled with the sad stories of what people do who have lost hope. When people lose hope, relationships end, kids dropout, businesses close, people die. A number of years ago, I preached in a prison on the island of Trinidad. I preached on hope. Many in that prison had given up, they had lost all hope. I wanted to give them hope, hope in God.

All around us and throughout the world, we see people clamoring for some sliver of hope. The fear of death by some virus has so many locked in its grip. And in this time when so many people have lost hope in financial institutions, governments, and other organizations, the people of Christ need to proclaim there is hope. For as we know, with God there is always hope.

Now what does biblical hope look like. Well, for one, it looks ahead.“Therefore, preparing your minds for action, and being sober-minded, set your hope fully on the grace that will be brought to you at the revelation of Jesus Christ.”1 Peter 1:13

Think about what the world would feel like if there was no hope of heaven. What would you say at the funeral of a loved one if Jesus had not come? There would be no hope beyond the grave. You could not talk about heaven, or any reason to hope for eternal life with God — just the cold reality of death.
If Jesus Christ had not come, there would be no book of Revelation; no hope for a returning Savior who would overcome the world and open heaven for us. There would not be any hope of a resurrection. There would be no eternal life. Nothing to anticipate, except the closing of the casket lid and the coldness of the grave. But because Jesus came, all that has changed!We live in hope, in joyful anticipation of what is yet to come.

The hope of heaven is like a Christmas gift. At this point it is still wrapped. But the package has our name on it. We know what awaits us .It is ours. We would never have received the gift if Jesus had not come. But He has and so we wait longingly for the day when we will enjoy the gift of heaven in all of its unwrapped wonder. And it will be far better than anything you could possibly imagine. Biblical hope looks ahead.

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A message from Pastor Steve

by: Steve Fawcett

03/19/2020

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Wow! What a week! As people have been transfixed by the constant barrage of ever changing corona virus news, it’s almost hard to believe all that has happened in our country in just a few days. It reminds us of how fragile life truly is. It also reminds us that while we go to great lengths to try to have and maintain control over our lives, yet God can use a tiny microbe to upset our best laid plans. I’m so glad our lives are in God’s hands. Imagine the fear and anxiety one would feel if we thought… read more

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Wow! What a week! As people have been transfixed by the constant barrage of ever changing corona virus news, it’s almost hard to believe all that has happened in our country in just a few days. It reminds us of how fragile life truly is. It also reminds us that while we go to great lengths to try to have and maintain control over our lives, yet God can use a tiny microbe to upset our best laid plans. I’m so glad our lives are in God’s hands. Imagine the fear and anxiety one would feel if we thought that all that happens is just the result of blind chance and fate.

I hope you are safe and feeling well. I hope that you can get out and get some fresh air and be reminded of God’s power and wisdom as seen in His magnificent creation; all the way from tiny microbes to far flung majestic galaxies. As Christians we can pray like everything depends on God and yet work like everything depends on us. It’s both, not one or the other. We do all we can wisely do and yet we trust the Lord with all the results and factors that we cannot control.

I encourage you to take all the wise, common-sense precautions that we are being told to do. I also want to encourage you to perhaps read your Bibles more than watching the non-stop news on TV. The Psalms are always good to read anytime, but especially in trying and anxious times like these.

I hope also that you will reach out by phone, email or other virtual means with shut-ins, such as those under quarantine and the elderly. May we show the compassion and love of Jesus to our neighbors.

While we do what we can, to reasonably manage risks, life is never without some risks. Jesus never promised us freedom from death but He did promise us freedom from the fear of death. Heb. 2:14,15. We have a great future! 100 years from now, we will still be very much alive and will hardly, if at all, remember these tough days.

We have hope. With God there is always hope. Offer this hope to others as they see it in you. “May the God of hope fill you with all joy and peace in believing, so that by the power of the Holy Spirit you may abound in hope.” Romans 15:13 Stay safe. Stay in touch. We will be back together soon.

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